May 30, 2012

Roger Raveel

When I get contacted with the question..." maybe a photo for This is Belgium?"... I consider myself very lucky, and especially so this time not only because Roger Raveel truly is a great artist but also because the artist, 91 years old (!),  looks great flanked by these two lovely ladies, both named Chris. The picture is taken by the wife of the master in front of a gate in a shade of green which, I believe, regularly shows up in his works.
"Roger Raveel was born on 15th july 1921 in Machelen-aan-de-Leie, a village near Ghent and he is regarded as one of the most important Belgian artists since World War II. Contemporary and timeless, his work is difficult to place in any single art history category. Indeed, it discourages any approach that is one-sided. The breeding ground for Raveel's art is his immediate environment, which however, does not imply that it is only limited to the local. In his paintings, drawings, objects and installations, the world around him acquires universality, as men, women, plants, a bicycle trailer, advertisements or technology are all seen as being part of time and space. A particularly fascinating aspect of his work is his use of a varied plastic language. Frequently contrasting styles or  ways of painting create a tension in his work that leads the viewer to discover a new reality".

May 28, 2012

Meet a sister from Nigeria

As you have read previously, Leuven/Louvain is basically a student town. Right now most of the students are in front of their books as the beginning of the exam period is approaching. As a result the city looks and feels different. 
The sister in white was an extremely elegant apparition in the quiet streets on Sunday morning. Her dress looked gorgeously fresh and perfect for our little heat spell. I asked her if I could take her picture, where she was from, etc.
Her name is Sister Eucharista and she is from Nigeria. Her Dutch was perfect which really impressed me. She belongs to the order Daughters of Mary, Mother of Mercy. I did not exactly get a chance to talk about the reasons for her stay in Leuven as I was interested in and asking questions about her  beautiful atire, made of light Poplin, I guess although I am not a connoisseur of materials. I might run into her again and if so, I will continue my little inquiry.

May 26, 2012

Brussels's Grand Place

Let's just look up and simply enjoy these beauties. If you are interested in reading about this most beautiful square, you will find plenty on google. I am including the Unesco link because it gives an interesting historical overview

May 24, 2012

Queen Elisabeth competition

Brussels was not only invaded by participants and spectators of the Zinneke parade last weekend, another cultural event of a totally different nature has taken over the city during the last few weeks. 
You know something important is going on when parking spots are blocked by police, a player of the National Orchestra is all dressed up to take a telephone call, people are running to get somewhere on time,   the info booth is manned with a knowledgeable young man and someone gets a lot of attention from the press.
For 75 years now, the prestigious Queen Elisabeth competition brings the best young musicians in a certain discipline to town. This year's competition is devoted to violin.
The musician with the telephone is orchestra member Bram Nolf who plays the oboe, the person being interviewed is the dad of the only Belgian participant in the competition, Marc Bouchkov.

May 23, 2012

Zinneke parade (part 3, end)

With all the Olympic excitement for which I thank "Emm in London", I barely managed to finish the series on last Saturday's Brussels Zinneke parade.
Do you think there will be many colorful photo ops like these at the London Olympics? And if so, do you think that I can justify posting the pictures on a blog with the title "This is Belgium"?

May 21, 2012

Emm in London

photo by Emm
Delighted to introduce you to blogger Emm in London ... for many reasons but right now especially because she just published her Olympic competition winner announcement and I found out that I will be going to the Olympics. Thank you, Emm ! Needless to say I am very excited and extremely grateful!!

Zinneke Parade (Part 2)

I have Zinneke pictures  and then some, enough to keep going for a while. These here today are some of my favorites. Click on the photo 1 & 3 to read the incomprehensible text.

May 20, 2012

Zinneke parade (part 1)

Lots and lots of color, fun, music, creativity and visitors in Brussels yesterday, Saturday May 19 at the occasion of the Zinneke Parade which takes place every two years and involves the many socio- cultural organizations of the capital.
"The name of the parade refers to both the Brussels river Zenne as to the stray dogs that used to roam around it. These mongrels have become a symbol for Brussels – an embodiment of the cosmopolitan and multicultural nature of the city. It’s therefore no surprise that all participants of the parade come from very different neighbourhoods, with contrasting backgrounds and a diverse array of beliefs."

May 19, 2012

More Warande Parc

As yesterday's post must not have given you a correct picture of regular daily life on a cold spring day, here is a follow up with pictures combining human and non human activity on a weekday afternoon.

May 18, 2012

Warande Park Brussels

The Warande park is centrally located in Brussels between the Royal Palace and the Parliament but to be honest, it was not until I read Jeroen's post at that I decided to stop and investigate.
Jeroen wrote about the photo exhibition which is a combined initiative of Handicap International and the Belgian Development Cooperation aimed at raising awareness mother and child health issues.

May 13, 2012

Mother's day

On way to make two mothers very happy!

May 12, 2012

Belgo-English photographic cooperation


Here is the story:
- a group of English ladies designates one of them to be the photographer of the moment, with the instruction to give the Royal Palace a prominent place
- a group of Belgian men, tourists in the capital,  passes by and wonders whether to offer photography services or not.
- one of the Belgian guys joins the English ladies who are good sports about the new addition to the picture
- the Belgian guy starts to feel more and more at ease
- passers by are sharing the fun
At this point,  the Royal Palace is of no interest to anyone, locals and visitors alike, anymore.

May 10, 2012


The sign "Voetweg 45" spells it out: it indicates the nature of the path (foot path) and its width ( 2,2o meters).... Wonder whether someone tried something that was not a smart or obvious thing to do?